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Australia Also Drops Ban on Foreign Aid to Abortion Providers After Obama Decision

Thaddeus M. Baklinski,

CANBERRA, Australia, March 10, 2009 ( – In an abrupt about-face, the Australian government today has approved funding for foreign aid programs that will be used to pay for abortions outside the country.

The decision follows close on the heels of a recent decision by President Obama to abolish the Mexico City Policy, which prohibited the use of taxpayer funds for providing or promoting abortions abroad.

President Obama’s decision to rescind the Mexico City Policy left Australia as the only first-world country refusing to fund international abortion promoting organizations with taxpayer funds.

"This is a difficult issue and the government recognizes that there are strong views, firmly held, on all sides," Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said in a government statement. "Avoiding terminations through family planning services and advice will continue to be the focus of Australian-funded activities."

Senator Ron Boswell called the new foreign aid abortion policy a betrayal of the people who voted in the current government.

"The decision today made by Kevin Rudd’s Labor Government to allow Australia foreign aid programs to fund abortion through Non Government Organisations, will be seen as a betrayal by the Churches and their communities," said Senator Boswell.

Last year Senator Boswell warned Prime Minister Rudd that he could expect a voter backlash among Christians if the ban is overturned.

"All bets will be off with the churches as far as Mr. Rudd is concerned," he told ABC News last June. "He cuddled up to the churches for the last election. If he does this to them then they’ll turn upon him."

"Today’s decision by the Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith to increase Australia’s foreign aid budget by 15 million dollars to allow UN agencies and Non-Government Organisations to use this money for family planning and abortion funding will disappoint church goers who mistakenly thought Mr. Rudd would never allow this to happen."

"Those people who changed their vote to Labor because of Mr. Rudd’s appearance on the webcast to the Churches will feel let down and betrayed. The Prime Minister has terminated their trust today by allowing the Foreign Affairs Minister to make this announcement on Australia funding overseas abortion through the AusAid budget," concluded Senator Boswell.